June 4th, 2012
05:43 PM ET

We don't teach hate, says church where anti-homosexual song filmed

By Ismael Estrada, CNN

Greensburg, Indiana (CNN) - About 20 protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle here to voice opposition to a viral online video that was taped in the church and shows a young child singing song with lyrics that offer a harsh message for homosexuals.

The video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, shows a child in front of the congregation, singing "I know that God is right, and somebody's wrong... ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."

The congregation erupts in applause at those lines, which the unidentified boy repeats as the pastor looks on.

At another point in the video a voice is heard shouting,"That’s my boy."

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In the first Sunday service since the video surfaced, congregants arrived to the church as protesters jeered them over the video.

A church leader, who would not give his name, told CNN that journalists were not allowed inside the church and declined to offer anyone from church leadership to comment on the video.

The leader said that he needed to be cautious about letting outsiders into the church because it had received threats over the video and asked CNN to leave the premises.

Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online

The local sheriff's office said the church had not reported any verifiable threats.

No one answered the door at the home of Jeff Sangl, the church's pastor.

The video of the singing boy was the latest in a string of viral anti-gay videos that have surfaced from independent churches.  Those videos have been resoundingly condemned by religious leaders, even by conservatives who believe homosexual sex is a sin.

The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle posted a statement on its website that says in part: "The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason.”

The pastor's son, Josh Sangl, told CNN his father was away on vacation and that there was much more to the video than we were being told, though he wouldn’t elaborate.

The majority of the church members wouldn’t comment about the controversy or respond to questions about the parents of the young boy.

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"I think it's blown out of proportion, you know," said Robert Kirby, who is not a church member but was attending Sunday's church service in support of his daughter, who teaches Sunday School there. "They love everybody.

"They don't love sin though," he said. "It's all in the Bible."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Homosexuality

soundoff (3,151 Responses)
  1. DaveInPA

    True Christianity is about love and acceptance. (love thy neighbor as thyself)

    June 5, 2012 at 6:07 am |
  2. cosmicsnoop

    If this kid is ever identified, he's screwed for the future. He's not going to get into any college except Liberty U because he will be seen as a bigot. He will have a hard time finding a real job outside of his little world. No major company would hire him because his little movie will show that he is in violation of every companies discrimination policies. No one will want that baggage. Good job ruining your kids life "parents".

    June 5, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • sam stone

      not true at all.

      he could change his tune and get beyond that indoctination


      he could be hired by someone who agrees with that indoctrination

      June 5, 2012 at 6:32 am |
  3. kebos

    Spreading the word of god is a form of hate messaging. The new testament attempted to rebrand the bible as a more kinder, gentler message but it's a wolf in sheep's clothes.

    June 5, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • kebos

      And by the way, the word of god is man-made. Nothing godly about that. God does not exist despite what the more unstable of our species might want you to believe.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Even if their god did appear, who in their right mind would want to be associated with such a bigoted, hateful creature?

      June 5, 2012 at 6:26 am |
  4. Miguel Blanco

    Heven't seen the video on this article but I do not agree with the lifestyle and I don't hate them either. Live and let live. Plain and simple.

    June 5, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Lifestyle? Are you referring to people who are gay? So when did you choose your hetero lifestyle?

      June 5, 2012 at 6:05 am |
    • Mirosal

      oh, they didn't choose to be hetero or ga'y. Remember, "god" made them that way, right?? 😉 lol Sorry, I couldn't keep a straight (pun intended) face while typing this!!

      June 5, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mirosal: Any time we read or hear that this kind of thinking is still going on, we laugh. We still have our bigots like this but given that our government has made hate speech a crime and took over the handling of gay rights for equality, we see a lot less of it. I could have sworn we resided within the 21st century...I'd like to know what century freaks using the buybull to defend their hate are living in.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • sam stone

      why do you refer to an orientation as a lifestyle?

      June 5, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  5. Lonewolf

    This does not sound like a Church of God. Sounds like a church of Satan God does teach hate, Satan does. These folks are not representatives of the Christian Faith. Christ did not go around preaching hate, even forgave those who crucified him. It is a shame that we have so many hypocritical churhes in the USA. These are the type of folks that made the cross Jesus carried even heavier!

    June 5, 2012 at 6:00 am |
    • Lonewolf

      Correction: God does not teach hate, Satan Does!

      June 5, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • cosmicsnoop

      There is no such thing as Satan. The church's organization, like any government, needs an enemy to keep people in line. It was all made up. There is no hell or devil.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Does this sound like love to you? Taken from Leviticus:

      God gives detailed instructions for performing ritualistic animal sacrifices. such bloody rituals must be important to God, judging from the number of times that he repeats their instructions. Indeed the entire first nine chapters of Leviticus can be summarized as follows: Get an animal, kill it, sprinkle the blood around, cut the dead animal into pieces, and burn it for a "sweet savor unto the Lord." Chapters 1 – 9
      "Cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat ... and burn it ... for a sweet savour unto the Lord." 1:12-13
      "Whosoever shall commit any of these abominations ... shall be cut off from among their people." 18:29
      "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard."
      Don't round the corners of your head or beard. 19:27
      "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you."Don't get an tatoos. 19:28
      If a man has s.ex with another man, kill them both. 20:13
      People with "familiar spirits" (witches, fortune tellers, etc.) are to be stoned to death. 20:27
      Handicapped people cannot approach the altar of God. They would "profane" it. 21:16-23
      Don't do any work on the day of atonement or God will destroy you. 23:29-30
      A man curses and blasphemes while disputing with another man. Moses asks God what to do about it. God says that the whole community must stone him to death. "And the children of Israel did as the Lord and Moses commanded." 24:10-23
      Anyone who blasphemes or curses shall be stoned to death by the entire community. 24:16
      God tells the Israelites to make slaves out of their neighbors and their families. The "heathens" and "strangers" are to be their possessions forever. 25:44-46
      If you don't follow all of the laws in the Old Testament, God will shower you with all of the curses in the next 25 verses. 26:14-15
      "I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it." 26:16
      "I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies." 26:17
      "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins." 26:18
      "I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins." 26:21
      "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle." 26:22
      "I will bring a sword upon you ... I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy." 26:25
      "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat." 26:29
      "I will ... cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you." 26:30
      "And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste." 26:33

      June 5, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • Mirosal

      such a loving sweet tolerant "god" huh? ok thu'mp'ers ... dispute what your little book says above.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mirosal: They'll just say we're reading it wrong or that it is OT and thus does not count. I can't imagine living such a boring life. There's enlightenment to keeping an open-mind.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • Mirosal

      but we DO have open minds. That's how we are able to see through thiat piece of work for what it really is... fiction

      June 5, 2012 at 7:05 am |
  6. Jerry Pelletier

    We'll leave the hate mongering and the divisiveness to our President Obama!....
    New rule for becoming President of the United States,...You had to of at least had one...just one real job in your life....is that to much to ask!

    June 5, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • saggyroy

      Too late...religion has cornered the market on hate.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:56 am |
    • Jonline

      OK. If we introduce that law, are there good jobs and bad jobs? For instane a B film actor, not a job right?

      June 5, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • Scott

      You mean like Bush?

      June 5, 2012 at 6:02 am |
  7. saggyroy

    In 15 there will be a CNN article you read about little Timmy blowing up a Mosque.....

    June 5, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • saggyroy

      In 15 years.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • G.a.y Man

      Did someone say b.lo.w

      June 5, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • Libtard

      Paybacks a b.it.ch

      June 5, 2012 at 5:54 am |
  8. simcha1

    It seems to me, that this church has missed the heart and soul of the Christian message (or any other faith-based message) that of love and concern for your fellow human being. It is forever interesting to me that people to take a literal view of the Bible seem to be especially literal regarding hatred of certain, "sins" and fairly loose in their interpretation of the foundational concepts of love and concern for others. I feel very sad about the damage that has been done to the hearts of these people and this minor child. How horrible and embarrassing to have a viral video of such a rendition of name calling, judgmentalism an hatred.

    June 5, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • truth

      32“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

      34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn

      “‘a man against his father,

      a daughter against her mother,

      a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

      36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’e

      June 5, 2012 at 5:47 am |
    • kebos

      @truth: words to die by, eh. Not a single one true. Man-made to control man, build wealth, amass power. Simple as that. There is no afterlife. No big man in the sky watching us. No guy that lived 2,000 years ago to be slaughtered so that he could save our souls. Such twisted logic never existed nor will it ever.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:10 am |
    • EndTheHate


      Please don't try to forbid marriage amongst those our Lord God created gay...

      1 Timothy 4:1-5

      Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart
      from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings
      of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are
      seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God
      created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know
      the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be
      rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the
      word of God and prayer.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:10 am |
  9. Austin Powers

    What would Iran do? ..hmmm

    June 5, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  10. Andrew Pearce

    No, actually they are condoning hate speech. By allowing this little boy to curry favor with adults with his anti-gay song the church leaders, parents and adults are encouraging hate speech, and that is wrong.

    June 5, 2012 at 5:20 am |
    • Tarrence

      Its called free speech, ever hear of it? Anyone is allowed to say what they want no matter what it is. Unless your a com.muni.st or a fa.sc.ist or a g.a.y libe.ral dem.oc.rat then you should shut your c.o.c.k. hole

      June 5, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • Eric

      Tarrence: So you're saying that since they have a RIGHT to do it, it's ok? Nobody is arguing that it isn't protected by Free Speech. The objection is that it's hateful and offensive and teaches children to hate other people. How is that a Christian value?

      June 5, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • Tarrence

      Who are you to judge them they are doing what is right for them just like you do what is right for yourself . Neither way is wrong! There is no good there is no evil just existance.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • Daniel

      @Terrance Yes, this is America and one of the freedoms we enjoy is free speech. Yet, I'm sure you wouldn't be too crazy about an Imam going before a congregation saying, "DEATH TO AMERICA!", now would you?

      June 5, 2012 at 5:51 am |
    • Tarrence

      Im from Briton, so you go Imam.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:55 am |
  11. Dee smith

    I do not agree at all with what this church is allowing, however it would be great to see the same research and journalism being put into this little church congregation to be put into exactly why our current prez has not lived up to his promises and why he sat under his mentor rev rite who spewed hate from his congregation saying " god damn America".
    Gee, maybe I missed something but I don't think I heard " god damn America" from that kid or anyone else from that one little church.
    Why don't we see about finding out why the economy is in the tank and concentrate on finding a solution for that instead of flying out all the country finding needles in haystack of people who don't "like" gay people, shall we?

    June 5, 2012 at 5:12 am |
    • jellylee20202

      And why don't we investigate why the American education has failed you.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:21 am |
    • Tarrence

      Because CNN hates Americans but loves the C.O.C.K.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • Rush

      Dee, the economy is in the tank becuase Government spending is at it's lowest since post Korean War, and that reduced spending is dragging the economy down. So, the economy stinks because that's exactly the way the GOP wants it. This was all over the news this weekend. Haven't you been reading Paul Krugman? No. Oh, maybe that's why you went off-topic.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  12. Austin Powers

    Why is everyone ranting just say" oh behave yeah babyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!"

    June 5, 2012 at 5:09 am |
  13. Donkey Party

    Charmin' – Blow me.

    June 5, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  14. Austin Powers

    Oh..beehave (goofy laugh)

    June 5, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  15. mslisac363

    Find another chruch if you are unhappy... It's so easy to do.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  16. W.

    Refute the self, dissipate all opinions, arrest the non-meritorious. This is the way to gain sage wisdom and true understanding. The rest is prestidigitation.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:43 am |
  17. Eric

    "We don't teach hate, but we applauded little Timmy when he sang his song and we would never have even tried to claim that 'we don't teach hate' if not for the backlash of the evil gay activist sympathizers who don't deserve to get into Heaven."

    June 5, 2012 at 4:43 am |
  18. Selendis

    I don't condone hate or intolerance of any kind. That being said, I also can't condone the hate being thrown at this, or any church. People have the right to believe what ever they want. Making a fight about it not only will not change someone's view, but will often make them defend said view more vehemently. If you don't like what happens in this church, don't go. The more "viral" something is, the more attention it receives, and the more you will find crazies that need to stand up for it. You can't force people to be educated and respectful of others.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:36 am |
  19. whitmanguy

    Thank you CNN for embarrassing these good Christians.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:34 am |
    • HJ

      Good Christians? That's a matter of opinion, now isn't As I recall Christian teaching, the sin of presumption happens when someone assumes they're going to heaven or that someone else isn't. After all, if it were that easy, then there wouldn't be any need for a "Judgment Day."

      June 5, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • John

      I have to second that... "Good Christians"!?! You're kidding, right?

      June 5, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Preaching hate and bigotry and using a young child as your pawn is not definitive of the word 'good', at least not in the real world. They're brainwashing these children. CSP should be stepping in and removing these kids. It's disgusting!

      June 5, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • Mirosal

      a "good christian" .. is that like an honest politician? Or jumbo shrimp? or business ethics? or military intelligence? Or, my favorite oxymoron ... a real "god"

      June 5, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • Jeff

      Interesting how a post on "good Christians" brought out a whole bunch of Christians who can't identify sarcasm

      June 5, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • sam stone

      They did not embarrass the "Good Christians". They embarrassed themselves. CNN just brought it to light

      June 5, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • cosmicsnoop

      I hope all people get embarrassed enough going to church that they all stop wasting their time on such embarrassing views of the world and spirituality and following a silly mythology.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:58 am |
  20. spangler

    The OT was written by the leaders of a Middle Eastern tribe who wanted land, power, money, slaves, multiple wives, control of women and children, loyalty and fame; and wrote a book which said God wanted them to have these things. This vision became harder to sell after the conquest by Rome and was changed into a loving diety of all the world.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:30 am |
    • Greg

      Totally untrue.

      June 5, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • esmiranda

      Religion is about controlling the masses. Religious leaders say that followers have to do what "God" says because the leader proclaim themselves God's representative on earth, but really they are saying followers have to do what another human tells them what to do. People can choose to follow the Bibles words on their own, but somehow somebody has turn it into "follow the leader." I do not like religion because it is a man made construct and therefor flawed. it's not worth the fellowship factor. You can say "God said this to a human thousands of years ago," but really? Were you or anyone else alive today there? Whether I believe any of the books or not, I don't have to believe another person. I know what Jesus said, it's not anyone's place to tell me.

      June 5, 2012 at 5:20 am |
    • kebos

      @Esmiranda: Well said!

      June 5, 2012 at 6:05 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.